FKA Twigs is the stage name of British performer Tahliah Debrett Barnett. The Gloucestershire singer was born on January 16 1988 and was originally known simply as Twigs, until she had to change her name due to another artist already operating under the moniker.
Barnett started out as a backing dancer, appearing in TV shows and music videos, like Jessie J’s ‘Do It Like A Dude’. Her song ‘Video Girl’ is about being recognized from that clip.
Twigs began making music at youth clubs, aged 16, before she moved to London at 17. She self-released her debut EP ‘EP1’ via Bandcamp in December 2012, catching the ear of XL Recordings imprint Young Turks. She released her second record ‘EP2’ via the label on September 10 2013. The four-track release was co-produced by Twigs and Arca, who would later collaborate with Kanye West.
Barnett was longlisted for the BBC Sound Of… poll in 2014, months before she released her debut album. The record followed the pattern of her EP titles, being christened ‘LP1’. It was released on August 4 2014 and was later nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.
In September 2014, Twigs received abusive messages after rumours circulated that she was dating Twilight actor Robert Pattinson. The singer responded to his fans’ messages on Twitter, writing: “Racism is unacceptable in the real world and it’s unacceptable online.”